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Home design with a tornado-proof core could serve as the blueprint for storm-proofing future communities

Posted By Wayne Grayson On December 19, 2013 @ 10:18 am In Construction News | No Comments

Credit: Q4 Architects [1]

Credit: Q4 Architects

After seeing countless homes destroyed in three recent natural disasters, an architectural contest was held to attract specific storm-proof house designs for three impacted cities.

New York City and New Orleans, affected by Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina respectively, both tapped energy-efficient winners [2] in the Designing Recovery competition, sponsored chiefly by the American Institute of Architects. But the design that was picked for Joplin, Missouri—where an EF-5 tornado killed 158 people and caused $2.8 billion in damage in 2011—could become the blueprint for safe, yet functional homes in places at risk for storms.

The design was profiled by Atlantic Cities [2] and, rather than the cold and uncomfortable design of surrounding the entire home with thick walls and steel doors, the house features a tornado-resistant core.

The tornado-proof core can be seen outlined by the darker lines. Credit: Q4 Architects [3]

The tornado-proof core can be seen outlined by the darker lines. Credit: Q4 Architects

The architectural team, Q4 Architects [4], was limited by the fact that Joplin’s geology doesn’t allow for tornado cellars or basements. And they didn’t want to design a bunker dressed up as a home. Their solution was a 600 square-foot core with walls made of concrete masonry that includes hurricane shutters and tornado doors.

And it’s not by accident that this core of the home is where the kitchen, a bathroom and access to backup systems are located. While riding out a storm, the designers wanted to make sure essential elements were contained in the core but in a way that made sense to a functional home layout. A set of Murphy beds are also located in the core.

The best part? The CORE design is meant to be constructed for less than $50,000.

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URL to article: http://www.equipmentworld.com/home-design-with-a-tornado-proof-core-could-serve-as-the-blueprint-for-storm-proofing-future-communities/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.equipmentworld.com/files/2013/12/Q4-architects-tornado-home.png

[2] both tapped energy-efficient winners: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/housing/2013/10/ingenius-home-built-battle-tornadoes/7105/

[3] Image: http://www.equipmentworld.com/files/2013/12/floor-plan.png

[4] Q4 Architects: http://www.q4architects.com

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